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Quezon City, Metro-Manila, Philippines
I am a runner, pastor, sociologist, teacher, and missionary. After living in Chicago for 6 years, I discerned a call to go to Manila, Philippines to live and work among the urban poor, and combine my passions for ministry, running, and the oppressed. After serving in the Philippines in 2012 and 2013, I returned to the United States for two years to finish my dissertation, get ordained, spend time with my family, and work at a neighborhood center in Kansas City. Since then, I have been working in the Philippines with Companion With the Poor as a missionary. Each day I look forward to how God will direct my steps as I live into His work of restoring a broken world.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

More than Enough

I have been working on developing a line of thought lately that I was calling a ‘theology of enough.’ (see previous blog post on 'The Ministry of Enough') However, based on the story in Genesis of the reconciliation of Jacob and Esau [study in particular the words Jacob (more than enough) and Esau (enough) use when they say “I have enough” - see especially Charles Spurgeon's message on the topic below], the teaching and miracles of Jesus, and the testimonies of the Acts 2 and 4 church and the apostle Paul, I think it should rather be called ‘a theology of MORE than enough!’

Thus, as Christians, whether we have much or little, or in some cases nothing at all, our attitude should be that in Christ and as part of His Body, the Church, we always have ‘more than enough.’ i.e. The boy with a few fish and a few loaves, Peter and John with no money in their pockets but the love, faith, power, and Name of Jesus to heal the cripped beggar on their way to the temple. 

Thus, whether ‘rich’ or ‘poor’ (the poor have actually taught me this more than the rich) according to the world’s standards of poverty and wealth, we must pray for eyes and faith to see and steward what we do have and not be discouraged by what we don’t have. And ears to hear the cries of our brothers and sisters in need. Then, and only then, will there be no poor among us. 

Below is a link to and part of a sermon from Charles Spurgeon on the passage in Genesis 33. I hope this word might bless you as much as it did me!

"It is a still better thing when the Christian has more than enough. Jacob was in that condition, for he felt that he could give Esau all those goats, sheep, camels, cows, bulls and asses and yet be able to say, “I have enough.” It is a bless- ing when a godly man feels, “I have more than enough for my own needs, so I am glad that I can help my fellow Chris- tians. I have great joy and delight in aiding the poor and succoring the needy.” When you can sing, with the Psalmist, “My cup runs over,” mind that you call somebody to come and catch what spills, for if you let it run to waste, it may be said of you, “That man cannot be trusted with a full cup.” So let it run over where those with empty cups may come and catch it, to moisten their parched lips! It is a good thing when the Christian, even though he has but little, can say, “I have not only enough, but I have a little to spare for others who have less than I have.”

The charm of Jacob’s, “enough,” was that God had given it to him. Esau says nothing about God, but Jacob says, “God has dealt graciously with me, and I have enough.” That is indeed a blessing which we can see comes to us from God when, on every mercy there is the mark of our Father’s hand! What are bursting barns if the wheat comes not from God? What are the overflowing wine vats if the juice of the clusters is not from God? What is the good of your gold and silver if God has cursed it? But what a blessing it is when God has smiled upon it all and says to you, “My child, I give you this because you are My child. I make you My steward and I entrust these earthly things to your keeping because I believe that you will use them for My Glory and for the good of your fellow creatures.” This puts a sweetness into the cup which, oth- erwise, would not have been there, so that it is a very different thing to be a child of God and to have enough—and to be a child of the devil and to have enough! May God grant that we may, each one, know what it is to say with Jacob, “The Lord has dealt graciously with me, and I have enough”!

The correct rendering of our second text—as you may see by the marginal reading of your Bibles—is that Jacob said, “I have all things.” Esau said, “I have enough,” but Jacob said, “I have all things.” And, as Matthew Henry says, “Esau’s enough was much, but Jacob’s enough was all. He that has much would have more, but he that thinks he has all, is sure he has enough.” Well, he who believes in Christ has all things, for what says the Apostle? “All things are yours; and you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.” They are all yours in this sense—that all that will be good for you, God must give to you—He has pledged Himself to this. “No good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly.” He will therefore not withhold any good thing from you, so that all that is good for you, you are sure to get. All things are yours in the promises and in the Covenant—for that God who took you to be His portion, has given Himself to be your por- tion—and He is “God all-sufficient.” All things are in Him and, in possessing Him, you have all things!

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